Town of Wilna, NY
Jefferson County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wilna 12-10-1984 by L.L. No. 2-1984. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Wilna. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways and windows serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, as well as a point of congregation by vagrants and transients. Such buildings may also serve as places of rodent infestation, creating a health menace to the community. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the safety, health and general welfare of persons and property in the Town of Wilna by requiring such unsafe buildings to be repaired or demolished and removed.
[Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
The provisions of this chapter shall be in addition to, and in furtherance of, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, including, but not limited to, provisions regulating unsafe structures and equipment in the Fire Code and the Property Maintenance Code of New York State, as supplemented.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Buildings Law" of the Town of Wilna.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING
Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business or industrial purposes.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Wilna, or such other person appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
When the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Wilna, in his own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building: is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public; is open at the doorways and windows making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors under the age of 18 years as well as to vagrants and other trespassers; is or may become a place of rodent infestation; presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public; or is unfit for the purposes in which it lawfully may be used, such Code Enforcement Officer shall cause or shall make an inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Town Board concerning his findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
The Town Board shall thereafter consider such report and shall by resolution determine if, in its opinion, the report so warrants such building is unsafe and dangerous and shall order its repair if the same can be safely repaired, or its demolition and removal, and shall further order that a notice be served upon the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees, or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in same in the manner hereinafter provided.
Notice shall contain the following:
A. 
A description of the premises;
B. 
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous;
C. 
An order requiring the same to be made safe and secure or removed;
D. 
A statement that necessary repairs for the security of said building, or in lieu thereof, the removal of such building, shall commence within 30 days from the date of the service of said notice and shall be completed within 90 days thereafter;
E. 
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Town Board relating to such unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than 10 days from the date of the service of said notice;
F. 
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal of the owner, owners or persons served with the notice to comply with the same, a survey for the premises will be made and if such survey shall report the building to be unsafe or dangerous, an application will be made at a special term of the Supreme Court in the Judicial District in which the property is located, for an order determining the building to be a public nuisance and directing that it shall be repaired and secured or demolished or removed and that the expenses of the proceedings to secure or remove the building, including the actual cost of securing or removing such building, shall be assessed against the land on which it is located.
Said notice shall be served (1) by personal service of a copy thereof or by registered mail, return receipt requested, upon the owner, owners or someone of the owners executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in same, as shown by the records of the receiver of taxes and/or in the office of the County Clerk or County Register, containing a description of the premises, a statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe or dangerous, an order requiring the same to be made safe and secure or removed; (2) if such service is made by registered mail, a copy of such notice shall be posted upon the premises; (3) by the filing of a copy of such notice in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Jefferson pursuant to the provisions of Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Such notice so filed shall be affective for a period of one year from the date of filing; provided, however, that the same may be vacated upon an order of a judge of a court of record or upon the consent of the Town Attorney.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Town Board, the Town Board shall appoint the Code Enforcement Officer and an architect, and the person shall be further notified that he shall appoint a practical builder, engineer or architect to make a survey of the unsafe building and submit a written report thereof. If the person so notified shall refuse or neglect to appoint such a surveyor within 30 days after service of said notice, the two surveyors appointed by the Town Board shall proceed with the survey and report. A signed copy of such report shall be affixed securely to such building.
In the event the building shall be reported unsafe or dangerous in such survey, the Town Board may by resolution direct the Supervisor of the Town to make an application at a special term of the Supreme Court in the judicial district in which such property is located for an order determining the building to be a public nuisance and directing that it shall be repaired and secured or demolished and removed.
All expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the actual cost of securing or removing such building, shall be assessed against the land on which such building is located. No such assessment shall be made in the event that the court shall rule in favor of the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in the property.
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property, unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Town Board may by resolution authorize the Code Enforcement Officer to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expenses of such repair or demolition shall be a charge against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 84-11 hereof.
The surveyor appointed by the Town as provided in § 84-9 shall be paid reasonable compensation as shall be affixed by the Town Board.
If any section, paragraph, subdivision or provisions of this chapter shall be declared invalid, such invalidity shall apply only to the section, paragraph, subdivision or provision adjudged invalid and the rest of the chapter shall remain valid and effective.